Gareth Gates, the cheeky-faced young singer who was runner-up in the first ever Pop Idol has joined the cast of the world’s longest running musical.
He was the shy young man with a terrible stammer who won the hearts of millions of viewers when he competed in the ITV forerunner to The X-Factor in 2002. Despite losing out to Will Young Gareth Gates went on to make a plethora of hit records and appeared in various television shows including Dancing on Ice.
Now he has joined the London cast of Les Miserables at the Queen’s Theatre to play the role of Marius until November 20th 2010. He will return to the part on 31st January 2011 and play it until June 18th. He is already familiar with the role as he has been playing it on the 25th anniversary tour of the show.
Born with a stammer, Gates discovered at the age of 8 years-old he could sing without stammering and he was cast as Joseph in his school production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. By the time he was 11 he was Head Chorister at Bradford Cathedral and learnt to play several instruments.
He was due to attend the Royal Northern College of Music to study opera when Pop Idol changed his life. Hit records and fame and fortune followed, and as his confidence grew Gates learnt to control his stammer.
His pop career took a nosedive in 2004 when he was dropped by his record company BNG due to low sales of his album and poor ticket sales at concerts. He trained as a speech coach and he wrote a book on speech therapy.
In 2006 he appeared in an ITV documentary Whatever Happened to Gareth Gates, and when it was screened in December that year he confirmed he had signed a new record deal with UMTV (part of Universal) which got his career back on track.
In 2008 he took part in Dancing on Ice with partner Maria Filippov, and they finished fourth. The following year he moved into musical theatre, reprising the role of Joseph, which he had played when he was 8 years old, This time it was in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s lavish production at the Adelphi Theatre in the West End.
In July 2008 he married his long-time girlfriend Suzanne Mole at Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire, and they have an 18-month-old daughter Missy.
The World’s Longest Running Musical
The Cameron Mackintosh / Royal Shakespeare Company production of Les Misérables first opened at the Barbican Theatre on October 8th 1985. It was adapted and directed by RSC Artistic Director Trevor Nunn and it transferred to the Palace Theatre on 4th December 1985. The show moved to its current home at the Queen’s Theatre on 3rd April 2004.
One of the most successful musicals ever, Les Miz was written by Alan Boubil and Claude-Michel Schonbery with lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer and music by Claude Michel Schonberg.
It is based on the novel by Victor Hugo and tells the story of love and bravery in 19th century France during the French Revolution.
Facts and Figures
- The show has been seen by over 57 million people worldwide in 42 countries and 291 cities. It has been translated into 21 different languages.
- There have been over 43,000 professional productions of the show worldwide giving a total audience figure of more than 55 million people.
- The biggest single audience for Les Misérables was 125,000 at the 1989 Australia Day Concert in Sydney. The biggest broadcast audience was when 250 Les Misérables cast members sang at the 1996 European Football Championship televised to 400 million viewers in 197 countries.
- There have been 34 cast recordings of Les Misérables including the multi-platinum London cast recording and the Grammy award-winning Broadway cast recording as well as complete symphonic albums.
- The video of the 10th anniversary Gala Concert at the Royal Albert Hall sold well over 1 million copies worldwide making it one of the best-selling musical videos in the UK.
- The longest running production is in London where it played 7,602 performances at the Palace Theatre before transferring to the Queens Theatre on 3rd April 2004.
- Each performance entails 392 complete costumes consisting of 1,782 items of clothing and 31 wigs.
- There are 101 cast and crew directly involved with every performance.
- Les Misérables has won over 70 major theatre awards, the most recent being four John Kraaijkamp Musical Awards for the Rotterdam Production.
For more details on the show click on to their official website www.lesmis.com